Are you Retardad? Yes, I am.

"You're only young once, but you can be immature forever." – Peter Stack

How are you raising your children? Isn't that nice. Not us. Leadership by counterexample was our M.O. – our nickname isn't RETARDAD for nothing.

Seriously, if you want to feel good about yourself as a responsible parent, and see the countless magnificent mistakes we made, some intentional – due to our monstrous ego, read on.

I had written a very infrequent blog a few years ago called "Fatherhood in Fifty" which was basically 50-word (or fewer) snippets from my life as a doormat husband, that were so priceless and classic you know I couldn't have made them up. I initially got the idea from the emails I sent to my dad while the kids were all in diapers, and then continued because they were so cathartic and comical, on the re-reading of course.

I always started out the email with "Dad, it's bad..." and then went on to relate the latest funny/unfunny happening, usually with a punchline that was mostly unintentionally very clever, and kind of  existential at the same time. To give you an example, here's one of my favorites:

Cate (4-years old) and I are riding in the car, on the way to school, or Dunkin' Donuts.

Cate: Dad, do you want to play the body-parts rhyming game?

Me: Sure.

Cate: Ok, you start.

Me: Toes.

Cate: Nose!

Me: Good one Cate! Your turn.

Cate (deadpan): Tasshole.

I'm not making this stuff up. I wish I could – then I'd go to Hollywood and rake it in. Seriously, I've had several people ask me to reprise the series, so since I'm half a century old I'll rename it "Fatherhood @ Fifty". When I told a friend about it he said I should call it "RETARDAD." Haven't decided yet, but here's the first one:

The kids are home from school having a snack when Neuman (my 7-year old son) asks me, out of the blue: 

Neuman: Dad, what's your favorite animal?

Me: What's yours Neuman? 

Neuman: I love tigers. They are strong and friendly. What's yours, Dad?

Me: Your mother.

Neuman: She's not an animal!

Me: Oh yes she is, Neuman, yes she is. 

And then there's this gem, which just happened last week:

I'm in the kitchen washing the dishes and my wife and daughter Jane are watching a movie on the computer.

Jane: Mom, why aren't you watching the movie?

Wife: I'm looking at your father. 

Jane, looking at me, and then back at her mom: Excuse me while I throw up in my mouth.


February 14, 2021 — Johnny Mustard